Thanks Beith and Wyeuro.
Yes, last Samhuinn, I thought the college would need to be laid to rest for a time, but being a believer in reincarnation and rebirth, and indeed hibernation (being from Minnesota), I think that we can overcome our first difficulties and continue following our bliss.
The great challenge is keeping enough committed people together to man the ropes, as it were, and to get a helmsman to man the helm so that I can be a proper captain. Creating wonders out of nothing is what wizards do, but having a few more benefactors would be useful, especially for establishing our physical campus space.
If you will indulge me, and for the sake of those who have not heard me tell the story before, I will just mention that I've done some research recently into the history of famous colleges, universities, and even English boarding schools. In almost every case, the school started with a benefactor who donated land and/or buildings. Now, we have actually had a few offers to partner on land but none here in Minnesota where I live, which raises difficulties. Neither my dear lady wife, nor my daughter, the esteemed princess, have any desire to move from Minneapolis.
For the first two years of Avalon's growth, I held on to hopes of relocating to Ireland, Scotland, Yorkshire, Wales, and even Nova Scotia or British Columbia. But you see I am a writer, not a corporate moghul and so I find it very easy to imagine things happening and getting the universe to cooperate is more of a challenge (and yes, I have read "The Secret"). But Arianrhod, who takes me as her friend and follower, gave me a very strong message when I stood atop Glastonbury Tor and when I was in meditation with the the Grove of Druids two summer's ago at the Solstice Assembly there. She indicated to me that I was put in Minnesota for a reason and it was no good feeling homesick for Yorkshire and Britain. Minnesota is not a place that is very notable in political or cultural terms on a world scale, or even within the United States. It is most noted for its many lakes and sport fishing, and particularly long winters.
The fact is, however, that in the ecosphere, Minnesota occupies the headwaters of the Mississippi, the western end of Lake Superior and the chain of Great Lakes, and the watershed that flows northward to Hudson's Bay, thereby making it the center of the North American Continent's greatest waterways and connected by the blood of the land to the Arctic Ocean, the North Atlantic, and the South Atlantic via the Gulf of Mexico. Indeed, it is not too far a stretch of the imagination to realize that via the Mississippi River and the Gulf Stream we are connected to Eire and Britain.
Besides this, Minnesota demarks the boundary of three distinct ecosystems -- the boreal pine forests that extend to the Arctic Circle, the Oak Savannah, that once extended to the East Coast of America, and the Great Plains that extend westward and southward to the Rocky Mountains and the southwestern deserts. So, looked at in this way, I was forced to admit that Minnesota was not just the place where I was born, but a place of significant energetic quality and importance for druids. So, I still hold out hope that we will host the first residential college for druids, and hopefully not the last.
I have been working for the past year on some annoying health issues. According to modern medical science, I have sleep apnea of a very peculiar kind, and I have some sort of digestive disorder that seems to set off my immune system. The doctors have not diagnosed Celiac Disease and indeed my current physician things it is all in my head, spawned by clinical depression, rather than the other way around. My shrink, God bless him, says I don't have "depression" but what they now like to call "disphoria" which I think they used to call melancholia in the 19th century. Some call it GOMS (Grumpy Old Man Syndrome) (not to be confused in any way with our esteemed and amiable Chosen Chief).
This cocktail of disorders leaves me very up and down, but I have been getting a handle on it more and more. I need to lose 20 lbs., stop smoking my pipe and cigars, stop drinking whiskey, and get more exercise. I'm too Hobbitish, alas. Bilboesque.
In any case, I very much appreciate hearing that there are spirits alive and wishing Avalon Center well. We can bring a druid college into manifestation with the concerted magical will of as many druids, witches, wizards, and seekers as we can muster.
Now I am off on my bicycle to take my daughter the princess to a play date with one of her school chums.